Data from: Sexual conflict and correlated evolution between male persistence and female resistance traits in the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus

  • Liam Robert Dougherty (Creator)
  • Emile van Lieshout (Creator)
  • Kathryn Bridget McNamara (Creator)
  • Joe Anthony Moschilla (Creator)
  • Goran Arnqvist (Creator)
  • Leigh Simmons (Creator)



Female trait data:
Immunity, tract volume and tract scarring data for all females.

Population mean values for all male and female traits used in the analysis. Male data and standard female scarring data taken with permission from Hotzy & Arnqvist (2009), and population fitness data taken with permission from Rankin & Arnqvist (2008). See main text for details.

Traumatic mating (or copulatory wounding) is an extreme form of sexual conflict whereby male genitalia physically harm females during mating. In such species females are expected to evolve counter-adaptations to reduce male-induced harm. Importantly, female counter-adaptations may include both genital and non-genital traits. In this study, we examine evolutionary associations between harmful male genital morphology and female reproductive tract morphology and immune function across 13 populations of the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus. We detected positive correlated evolution between the injuriousness of male genitalia and putative female resistance adaptations across populations. Moreover, we found evidence for a negative relationship between female immunity and population productivity, which suggests that investment in female resistance may be costly due to the resource trade-offs that are predicted between immunity and reproduction. Finally, the degree of female tract scarring (harm to females) was greater in those populations with both longer aedeagal spines and a thinner female tract lining. Our results are thus consistent with a sexual arms race, which is only apparent when both male and female traits are taken into account. Importantly, our study provides rare evidence for sexually antagonistic coevolution of male and female traits at the within-species level.
Date made available26 Apr 2017


  • Genital coevolution
  • Traumatic mating
  • Sexual conflict
  • X-Ray micro-CT
  • Insect immunity
  • Callososbruchus maculatus

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